By Shey Tatah Sevidzem (Wo Scandy)
Denmark, likewise many other European countries know little or nothing about cameroon especially when it comes to the rich Culture and Tourism they enjoy. That is why Brenda Mazieno Nkwenti a Cameroonian lady based in Randers Denmark during her school project took upon herself the challenge to give Cameroon a boast and new view in the hands of the Danish society.
The brain behind this initiative Brenda Mazieno Nkwenti bridged the link between the Cameroon Ministry of Tourism and Leisure in collaboration with the Cameroon Honorary Consul in Denmark by organizing a three day workshop and exhibition event in Copenhagen from the 21st -23rd April 2014.
The event which started monday the 21st was declared opened by the the Cameroon Honorary Consul H.E Axel Juhl-Jørgensen.
He decried the poor attendance which he attributed to the public holiday as it was an Easter monday but motivated those present by sharing his personal experience of discovering the the beautiful country of Cameroon which has pushed him to visit more than 5times in 2½ years. He went further to elaborate the potentiality of the country and encouraged whoever wiliing; to make a trip to Cameroon. Overshadowed by the Cameroon audience he felt it wise and useless repeating the sale of cameroon as its citizens were more versed with it.
Shortly after the Consul’s address was the– Presentation of ten different regions, their tourism potential and different Traditional Dishes
The day ended with making of contacts and merry making.
Tuesday met with another poor attendance as described by the camera man Ekane Ngeme, but had a very exciting exhibition amongst which were the presentations of travel and vacation package of destination- Cameroon
Wednesday 23rd the last exhibition day had a special and guest speaker from the Copenhagen University Dr Lekunze Ramson a Cameroonian, resident in sweden and teaching in Denmark. He had the opportunity to share the pro & cons of visiting Cameroon calling to the attention of tourists’ check list and priorities to consider especially while visiting and doing business with Cameroon.
He tackled the culture of each of the 10 regions of Cameroon laying emphasis on the cultural contrasts that exist amongst them. He went further to highlight the human resource potentiality of cameroon that exists all over the globe using Sweden as a case study of having the highest number of master students as compared to other countries that have the opportunity to gain scholarships. He stated that out of every 4 Cameroonian in Denmark, 3 had at least a bachelor or master’s degree.
The word was then given to the representative from the Ministry of tourism and leisure Mrs Anock Judith who traveled all the way from Cameroon for the exhibition.
In her speech, she expressed the joy to meet Cameroonians in this Nordic countries admitting that this was an opportunity to host a tourism office in the future in Scandinavia as they operate in Germany, USA etc. Satisfied and impressed as she was, she promised to give good feedback to the ministry but regretted that a lot of “bottle neck” took place before the approval of this project by the ministry.
Although those present had a good feeling and as the Organiser herself expressed on her facebook page, “the exhibition was successful. I nailed it, I set the records. Just like the consul General said in his opening speech ” it’s the first of its kind, the very first time the Cameroon government has officially organized an exhibition to promote the destination of Cameroon in Denmark”. I conceived ,initiated and coordinated the project with technical assistance from the Cameroon ministry of Tourism…” There are also of course lessons to learn and suggestions, amongst which are that ACAD a Cameroon Union could have been a partner and not not an invitee, that those on the ground should deal with the ground work while timing is taken into consideration.
The target audience (The danes) were almost completely absent from the scene, in the future like someone suggested, traveling agencies should be consulted, the Danish authorities also involved while tourism students contacted.
Although these challenges existed, it is worth noting that Brenda has set the ball rolling, she has laid a foundation and has opened the getway to tourism negotiations. Sometimes quality can be used as a measuring yard stick than the quantity, this seemed to have worked in this case. As Mr Mudoh Silas advised, personal issues should be left aside, bitterness avoided, vocal language and public insult improved…While thanking the initiator for this challenge. I urge on other cameroonians to put hands on deck to take our lovely country forward. There is a lot to know and share about our country. Cameroon is not only about corruption, neither is cameroon about Football nor lack of customer service…Cameroon is an untapped land and it is high time we show the world the worth of our Nation.
Here are some other pictures of the exhibition: